Ajliso spotted a city not too far ahead. A steady river
flowed by the forest in front of her, the green trees swaying back and forth
by the whiskers of breeze. She hurried along, Eyelle in her arms and Rocsh traveling
beside her. She wondered how she could hide her identity, as she walked through
Flowers followed the wind, the air cool and refreshing.
Ajliso used her team’s homemade air, which tasted and felt like the air back
in Alien Aisha Land. She could not feel the air of Neopia, nor did she particularly
want to. She was used to this air, and thought it was plenty better than wearing
a large glass helmet-like object around her head and having a large oxygen tank
dragging behind her.
Through the forest she went, Eyelle mumbling
in her arms. “Mommy,” he said over and over, and she could tell he was missing
Ajliso’s plan was to reach town and have a place
to stay for now. With luck, she could gather all the information about her team
and perhaps catch up with them. Eyelle needed them too.
At last, Ajliso reached the city of Neopia Central.
It glittered with shops and items, Neopets seeming to swarm around her. Staggering
along the cement sidewalks in exhaustion, Ajliso carried Eyelle through the
streets, few people taking notice of them.
Rosch barked friendly at passing Neopians who
glanced at them. They smiled back at the lovable Doglefox and continued on with
their trip to the mall.
Ajliso walked on, smiling at everyone. Just then,
a plump Wocky came out from the Grooming Parlour and eyed the alien Aisha curiously.
“My, don’t you look quite… different,” she said
with great difficulty.
“Pardon me?” asked Ajliso, attempting to imitate
these Neopians’ accents. “I don’t mean to be rude, ma’am, but how do you mean
“No, no,” replied the Wocky. “I’m the one who
is rude. You may call me Mrs. Chord. I have many Aisha friends, and to tell
you the truth, I’ve never seen one with so many ear stalks…”
Ajliso paused for a second, before continuing.
“Ah ha! You fell for it! I didn’t think it would work at all.”
The plump Wocky was taken aback. “What? Pardon?”
she inquired, confused.
“This is a costume, see? I didn’t think it would
work!! Thank you, ma’am, for proving me wrong.” Shaking Mrs. Chord’s paws wildly,
Ajliso asked, “Ma’am, do you mind pointing me to a hotel? I need a place to
stay for tonight and practice being an alien Aisha in private.”
Mrs. Chord pointed toward a large grey building,
a fountain with water trickling down its side and into the bottom, where little
Neopets dipped their hands inside and giggled happily.
“That looks like a wonderful place,” Ajliso
said, looking at the young Neopets and then at Eyelle. “Thank you so much, ma’am.”
Ajliso walked toward it, Rosch panting happily
and following behind her. She placed the sleeping Eyelle into the water, where
he opened his eyes gradually.
“Water!” exclaimed the baby Shoyru in alarm,
splashing playfully at the liquid.
Ajliso smiled, holding onto Eyelle’s small arms,
allowing him to swim around the fountain. After a few minutes, she scooped him
into her arms and wiped him with the sleeve of her suit.
She hopped over to the hotel, and from the sign,
it indicated that it was called the ‘Neolodge™’. Deciding not to open the door
yet, Ajliso went back to the fountain and used the water like gel to stick her
ear stalks against her head. From what she heard, it was the newest style in
She headed back to the building and opened the
doors carefully, putting Eyelle on Rosch’s back to receive a small ride. Rosch
barked a high note amusingly, as Eyelle giggled in return. Ajliso adjusted her
focus to the Neopet behind the counter.
“Hi there,” Ajliso greeted cautiously, attempting
to follow the Neopian’s strange accent. “May we book a room, please?”
A tired Flotsam replied, his eyes squinting,
as he rubbed them furiously. His eyes gradually opened wide, before he replied
with a yawn. “Sure. You’ll just have to fill out a form…”
Ajliso looked around, unsure if her writing was
the same as the Neopets living in Neopia. She decided not to take the chance.
Answering coolly, she said, “Oh no, I’d prefer if you fill it out, and I can
tell you the information. I hope that’s all right for you.”
“Yeah, of course,” the Flotsam replied perkily,
a hyperactive feeling seeming to fall over him, making him wide awake. “Your
name, or names please.” Ajliso was about to tell him her name, but instead called
herself ‘Sally’. Giving Eyelle and Rosch their real names, the Flotsam continued.
“And your hotel?”
The alien Aisha gazed at him, unsure of what
he meant. “What do you mean hotel? Isn’t this one?”
“The type, the type,” replied the Flotsam, his
name tag reading ‘Hi, I am Flops, your Neolodge™ host’. “Cockroach Towers,
Fleapit Motel, Cheap Hotel, Mountain Lodge…”
After the Flotsam had read out all the different
classes of hotels, described them – he was shivering when explaining his first
night in the Cockroach Towers, recommended the more expensive ones, and telling
Ajliso the most popular hotel ranks, the alien Aisha chose hers, and he went
on to the next question. “Now you can choose your little hotel extras. These
are highly recommended for many, as without these, it would be completely
dull and normal. The room would be empty too, mind you.”
Ajliso shook her head. Extras would mean more
service, and she had to have the most privacy she could receive. Nobody could
find out about her, or else she would be in big trouble with her group, if
they were out there, and if they even cared.
“How many nights, then?” asked Flops, scratching
his chin keenly.
“I’m not too sure,” admitted Ajliso, thinking
hard. “I reckon a week would be good enough.” Shrugging slightly, she took a
small glance at Eyelle below her. “Yeah, a week would be great.”
When all the arrangements had been done, Flops
told her the amount of Neopoints she had to pay, and Ajliso, looking slightly
scared, dumped many gold pieces onto the counter. Ajliso carried Rosch and Eyelle
hurriedly through the halls; leaving the Flotsam worker staring at the valuable
coins he had just received. Ajliso clambered up the winding, but magnificent
stairs. Finding her room, she opened door number 203, and to her satisfaction,
without a creak.
Practically running inside, Ajliso tossed all
her equipment onto the floor and hopped onto the large bed. The room was now
a mess – it looked as though someone had lived in there for a few weeks already.
Ajliso tickled Eyelle just to entertain herself, the baby Shoyru giggling hard.
Rosch sat himself on the floor, rummaging through the pile of items.
The LCD screen by the corner flicked on, surprising
the trio. Rosch had a look of curiosity upon his face, while Eyelle looked very
“Well, let’s see what these Neopians have to
offer…” Ajliso turned the channel, the scene changing.
“I’ve been expecting you, Number Six,” a voice
cooed from the machine. The screen showed a Grarrl seated on a swivel chair,
petting his pet Kadoatie. As the angles changed and a human appeared on the
screen, Ajliso laughed.
“I have never heard anything so cliché! That’s
Rosch shook his head in reply. His translator
said, “I’ll never understand these Neopets.”
There was a faint knock at the door, and the
wooden entrance opened. Ajliso looked up in surprise. The Neopet gazed from
her ears, which had sprung from their gel-water, to her equipment, and back.
“M–may I help you… sir?” she asked fearfully.
To be continued…